Today's report will outline our actions conducted from February 21, 2008 to March 25, 2008 in dealing with players violating the user agreement, as well as details on the activities, results, and goals of the Special Task Force.
For details on the Special Task Force's activities in dealing with players violating the FINAL FANTASY XI user agreement, see Accounts Banned.
As can be seen in the chart below, the number of accounts that were banned in February had decreased to half the number we had in December and January. This is partially due to the period of the bannings in February being shorter than usual, but it is also because we had received much fewer reports from FINAL FANTASY XI players, indicating that the number of violators of the user agreement has decreased.
With this knowledge in hand, the Special Task Force has decided to strengthen its actions in regards to RMT (*1) and violators involved in the buying and selling of gil.
We will, of course, also continue our actions in dealing with hunters (*2) violating the user agreement and causing trouble for regular players. Effective systematic countermeasures will also be introduced with the help of the development team.
Below we will describe some of the countermeasures introduced in the March 11th version update.
Countermeasures for dealing with illegal fishing
Countermeasures for dealing with illegal mining
Countermeasures for dealing with actions taking advantage of certain quests
The following tally details the condition of problems between February 21, 2008 and March 25, 2008. Each of these issues is discussed individually in the following section.
Use of synthesis and auction houses for RMT (*3)
As was mentioned in January's report, because the Special Task Force has an understanding of which characters are involved in RMT and has banned these characters accordingly, the number of accounts involved is decreasing.
In the following section, we will be explaining the Special Task Force's direction and plans in dealing with matters of concern within the community.
Changing game interface
I've seen people on the internet claiming to have changed the game's interface and then played the game. Why haven't these people's accounts been banned yet?
With only the insufficient information from a website to go on, we cannot make a judgment regarding the situation. Of course, the use of external programs displaying party members' TP or alliance members' MP is prohibited. If the Special Task Force can verify that a player has been using such programs, this evidence can be used to ban the player in question.
Also, many such unauthorized external programs have the ability to steal one's PlayOnline ID and password. To protect yourself from the possibility of unauthorized third-party access to your account, please refrain from using programs not approved by Square Enix.
Warning about unauthorized access
As has been mentioned in previous Special Task Force reports, problems regarding third party access to players' account information have become more and more common. Even if ones account is compromised only once, all of that player's characters could be deleted and all gil and items lost.
Viewing suspicious web sites linked on gaming websites or blogs, as well as downloading files from these sites, is believed to be the main cause of this unauthorized access. A player's computer becomes infected with a Trojan horse or keylogger and before he realizes it, his PlayOnline ID and password have been stolen.
We are currently working on a method to restore edited account details and lost items, but there are a few preventative measures to help protect ones account. The following are a few such countermeasures that Windows users can use to protect against unauthorized access.
In order to protect your data, please use the countermeasures listed above along with diligent management of your PlayOnline account.
We would also like to remind everyone that Square Enix will never reveal PlayOnline account details to third parties.
Reporting to the Special Task Force
The Special Task Force relies on everyone's information regarding violations of the user agreement to help keep FINAL FANTASY XI an enjoyable environment, and we appreciate your continuing support and cooperation.